September 30, 2019
By Frederick Cheng (RPh), and Christine Cheng (RPh)
Q: Why did my doctor send me to a pharmacy that can compound my topical cream medication in “Lipoderm”?
A: “Compounding” is the art, science, and practice of custom-making your medications from scratch, using quality ingredients, with specialized equipment, using trained technique, based on precise formulas. It allows the pharmacist to customize oral suspensions, troches/lozenges, gummi-bears, ear gels, suppositories, topical preparations, etc. for you and your pets. It is crucial to find an independent pharmacy that has the experience and the passion to do this properly and with the proper equipment and techniques. If you don’t, at best, the medication will not work correctly; but at worst, you can be getting chemical contaminants in something that you are putting in your body. A physician that requests a specific base such as “Lipoderm” (by PCCA) knows that other cream/gel bases will just not deliver the medications as intended for deep penetration as well as local absorption into the four layers of skin. Lipoderm allows the formation of microscopic “micelles” (or transport sacks), which is necessary for carrying the active ingredient through all the necessary layers of skin. Micelle-formation requires sheering forces created by an ointment mill and a planetary mixer such as the Mazerustar. A Lipoderm product will not separate with refrigeration, and is smooth, creamy, non-sticky, and will not clog pores. Lipoderm is only available at PCCA-approved independent pharmacies such as Pharmasave Steveston Village and Cloverdale Pharmasave.